Bust-up at the Federal police – the chief of the money laundering defense loses power kampfdie reporting office is the Federal office for police. Daniel Thelesklaf wanted more independence. And is inferior.Catherine Boss, Christian Brönnimann0 comment Daniel Thelesklaf leaves the MROS in less than a year later.Photo: Sophie Steiger

It was a blast, without notice, to: the beginning of the week Daniel Thelesklaf has made the management of the money laundering reporting office (MROS) as a surprise. The prestigious and internationally well-connected money-laundering-fighter had taken office only last August.

the reason for the uproar is apparently a dispute about the independence of the MROS or the lack thereof. The money laundering reporting office has far-reaching competences. You will accept reports of banks and financial intermediaries, and if these suspicious flows of money to determine, and is obtained thanks to a change in the law added responsibilities for access to Swiss Bank accounts information. The MROS, thus, has detailed data of citizens, without, in these cases, the evidence for the illegal Act would be available. The data are internationally exchanged among the registration offices, in order to be at an early stage on possible criminal activity.

the influence of self on staff

However, this far-reaching authority may pose risks. Police authorities could access such data, even when no reasonable suspicion for a criminal offence exists. Therefore, it is according to international Standards, it is essential that the reporting agencies independently of the police or other authorities work. However, this separation is not given in Switzerland, fully. The MROS is integrated into the Federal office of police (Fedpol). Fedpol Director Nicoletta Della Valle, as well as her Deputy, René Bühler can intervene in the governance of the MROS-heads. According to several sources you should have in Personnel decisions in MROS influence.

Daniel Thelesklaf, however, is a strong supporter of the independence of the office for money laundering prevention. These different philosophies have led to open conflict. A Swiss Federal police spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday that there had been “differences of opinion about the administrative and personnel management of MROS, as well as on the implementation of the strategy”. Thelesklaf said on Wednesday on request, there has been a “dissonance in the implementation of international Standards”. Thus, it is likely to mean the Problem of the lack of independence of the MROS.

Yet, last November, had expressed Thelesklaf confident that in this difficult constellation to navigate. In an Interview with an Online magazine, he said: “It is as if you return to a Restaurant whose kitchen you’ve always liked, which now offers a much better Service.” Thelesklaf had directed the MROS after their launch in 1998 until 2002.

According to Thelesklafs unexpected departure of the MROS will be led ad interim by the Deputy Head of Gabriela Kolly.

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